As a primary influence on a child’s life and the place where children spend many waking hours, the school environment has a powerful impact on children’s health. Obesity prevention efforts must influence the entire school context, not just curriculum or programs.
Improvements are needed in the availability of healthy foods in and outside of the cafeteria, opportunities for students to engage in physical activity before, during, and after school, and the alignment between school practices and health education delivered in the classroom.
In 2012, the Chicago Board of Education passed two new polices—a Local School Wellness Policy and a Healthy Snack and Beverage Policy. CLOCC, along with other strategic partners, worked with the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Office of Student Health and Wellness to advance these policies and expand infrastructure within the school district to sustain these and other related policies.
CLOCC plans to continue building momentum created through its partnership with CPS by supporting local schools in policy implementation. Community organizations, school staff, and parents can play a role by supporting schools in institutionalizing change, reinforcing key messages, and leading initiatives consistent with the school’s health and wellness priorities.
Learning in a New Landscape: Healthy at Home for CPS
To best support our ongoing work with CPS in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and beyond, CLOCC has developed a new virtual toolkit for educators, parents and caregivers containing health and wellness resources. This toolkit was created for those working on Healthy CPS initiatives in the context of the virtual learning environment.
To access the resources, please visit Healthy at Home for CPS.
For more information about schools and obesity prevention, please refer to the Blueprint.